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Sir George Etienne Cartier 

His Work for Canada and His Services 
to Montreal 



April 7th 1913 



Author of The Memorial History of the Life 
and Times of Sir George Etienne Cartier 

(To be issued in connection with the 
Cartier Centenary Celebration, 1914) 






Under the distinguished patronage of H. R. H. 
The Duke of Connaught 

Exemttu? (Eommttter 

Sir Charles Tupper, Bart. 



Sir Rodolphe Forget Hon\ N. Perodeau 

Hon. J. J. Guerin H. A. Ekers, Esq. 


Honorary Treasurers: 
Hon. J. A. Ouimet 

President City & District Savings Bank 

H. V. Meredith, Esq. 

General Manager, Bank of Montreal 

Honorary Secretaries: 
John Boyd, Esq. F. Arthur Jackson, E:-q. 

C. A. Pariseault, Esq. Horace J. Gagne, Esq. 

H. R. Ovenden, Esq. 

Bankers : 
The Bank of Montreal 

Address - - P. O. Box 188 

Born Sept. 6, 1814 


Died May 23, 1873 


Queens University at Kingston 

The accompanying address has been registered in accordance 
with the Copyright Act by John Boyd. 


The great interest that has been aroused in the Cartier Centenary 
movement was shown by the large gathering which assembled at the 
Canadian Club luncheon in the Sailors' Institute on Monday. April 
7th, 1913, to hear Mr. John Boyd speak on " Sir George Etienne 
Cartier, His Work for Canada and His Services to Montreal." The 
speaker's references to the work that Cartier had accomplished for 
Canada, and especially to the great services that he rendered to the 
City of Montreal, were enthusiastically applauded by the large audience 
of representative business men. 

The accompanying address which includes a summary of Sir 
George Etienne Cartier's career and achievements is but a preliminary 
to the Memorial History of the Life and Times of Cartier which is now- 
being written by Mr. John Boyd, and which will deal exhaustively not 
only with Cartier's career but also with the whole period covered by that 
career, one of the most memorable periods of Canadian history. The 
work will be published next year under the auspices of the Cartier 
Centenary Committee in connection with the great commemorative 
celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of Cartier's birth. 


His Work for Canada and His Services to Montreal. 



APRIL 7th, 1913.) 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen: 

The subject of the address which I have the privilege of delivering 
to-day is " Sir George Etienne Cartier, His Work for Canada and His 
Services to Montreal." 

Let me at the outset, Mr. Chairman, express my deep appreciation 
of the honor the Executive of the Canadian Club has done me in 
inviting me to address the members of this important and representative 

When, in 1892, through the efforts of Mr. Charles R. McCullough 
of Hamilton, the first Canadian Club was organized, a movement was 
inaugurated of the utmost importance to the Dominion. Every impor- 
tant centre throughout the country now has its Canadian Club, and 
these organizations, or as they have been well termed, these " universi- 
ties of the people" now numbering nearly one hundred, are doing a 
splendid work in fostering a spirit of patriotism and in creating that 
national sentiment which is so essential to Canada's welfare. The 
Canadian Club of Montreal, composed as it is of the most representative 
citizens of the commercial metropolis, has ever been foremost in this 
great work, and it is indeed a privilege to have the opportunity of 
addressing such a gathering. 

What more appropriate subject, Mr. Chairman, could be found for 
an address before a Canadian Club, than the career of one of our great 
nation-builders, of one who helped to lay the foundations of Canadian 
nationality and of the Dominion's greatness? 

It is not my intention, Mr. Chairman, nor would time permit on 
this occasion, to deal exhaustively with the life and achievements of Sir 
George Etientie Cartier. That is now engaging my attention in another 
form, and when the Memorial History of the Life and Times of George 
Etienne Cartier shall appear, it will, I trust be found to be at least an 


exhaustive review of a great career and of one of the most memorable 
periods of Canadian history. On this occasion, owing to the limited 
time at my disposal, I shall content myself with reviewing succinctly 
Cartier's public career and achievements, dwelling briefly on the lessons 
of his life with special emphasis upon the great work that he did for 
Canada in general and the eminent services which he rendered to the 
City of Montreal in particular. 

I shall take it for granted, Gentleman, that you are all conversant 
with the main facts of Cartier's career, from his birth at St. Antoine 
on the Richelieu River on September 6th, 1814, until his entrance to 
public life at the age of 34 in 1848, from that date until he became 
Prime Minister of United Canada in 1858, and from that until hi9 
death in 1873 when he held the portfolio of Minister of Militia and 
Defence in the Dominion Government. 

Cartier^s public career covered a period of some twenty-five years, 
that is to say from 1848 to 1873. What fruitful efforts, what hercu- 
lanean labors, what great achievements, what struggles, defeats and 
triumphs were crowded within the compass of that career! The period 
which it covered was one of the most remarkable, if not the most 
remarkable, in the whole range of Canadian history. It was a period 
which witnessed many great constitutional changes, many transforma- 
tions of parties, many fierce political struggles. It saw the beginning 
and the end of the Union, it marked the triumph of the long struggle 
for responsible government, it witnessed the birth of Confederation. It 
was a period fecund of great events and momentous developments, it 
was ,also a period rendered notable by the long succession of great . 
statesmen whose names must forever be illustrious in Canadian history. 

During all of that period C artier played an active part and at 
times occupied a pre-eminent position. 

At the beginning of his career, Cartier was a zealous reformer. In 
his youth like so many other ardent spirits of the time he came under 
the influence of Louis Joseph Papineau, when that great French Can- 
adian tribune, with his incomparable eloquence, was thundering against 
those administrative abuses which were directly responsible for the 
troubles of the period. Nor was Papineau alone in his opposition to 
what Cartier described as the action of a minority which sought to 
dominate the majority and exploit the government in its own interests. 
Papineau, it should be remembered had the support of leading English- 
speaking Canadians, such as the distinguished "Wolfred Xelson, after- 
wards Mayor of Montreal; in fact it is a noteworthy historical feature 
that some of the leading figures in the struggle for responsible govern- 
ment in Lower Canada were English-speaking. Carder's participation 


in the rising of 1837 was due to the ardor and impetuosity of youth 
and the sincere convictions he held that the prevailing evils called for 
drastic measures. His experience convinced him of the folly of an 
appeal to arms; he realized that the remedy for existing evils must be 
sought,, not through armed resistance to the constituted authorities, but 
through constitutional agitation and legislative action. He became a 
staunch supporter of LaFontaine's policy, and one of his earliest 
campaign speeches was made in advocacy of the principle of ministerial 
responsibility during the crisis resulting from the resignation of the 
LaFontaine-Baldwin Government in 1844. In 1848, when Cartier first 
entered Parliament, the struggle for responsible government, thanks to 
the efforts of those two great statesmen, Louis Hypolite LaFontaine 
and Robert Baldwin, whose names will forever be held in the highest 
honor by all Canadians, had been fought and won. When justice had 
been secured and existing abuses remedied by the granting of respon- 
sible government, Cartier became, and ever afterwards continued to be 
one of the warmest supporters and most zealous champions of British 
institutions, a strong advocate of the maintenance of British connection 
and a passionate lover of the British flag. 

Cartier was the destined successor of LaFontaine in the great work 
of reconstruction, pacification, and conciliation, and when LaFontaine 
retired in 1851, and was followed a few years later by that other 
eminent French-Canadian statesman, Auguste Norbert Morin, Cartier's 
path to the leadership of his native province was clear. For years he 
was the undisputed leader: his voice, as has been well said, was the 
voice of Quebec. 

The struggle for responsible government having been won, an era 
of marked industrial expansion and development followed under the 
Union. It was an era of railway building, of canal construction, of 
the establishment of great public works. Cartier, owing to his practical 
qualities, his great business abilities, his mastery of details, and his 
administrative capacities, was eminently qualified to obtain a leading 
position during such a period. He achieved distinction as a reformer, 
as ,an able administrator, as a legislator, and as a constructive states- 
man. His name is attached to some of the most important Acts of a 
period prolific of important legislation. It is sufficient to mention in 
this connection such measures as the construction of the Montreal and 
Portland Railway, the decentralization of the judiciary, the codification 
of the civil laws and of civil procedure, the modification of the criminal 
law, the Municipal Act of Lower Canada, the Act relating to registration 
offices, the abolitioi^ of the seigniorial tenure, the choice of Ottawa as 
the Capital of Canada, the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway 


and the Victoria Bridge, the organization of the educational system of 
Lower Canada, the improvement and deepening of the St. Lawrence, 
the building of canals, the union of the provinces of British North 
America, the acquisition of the North-West Territories, the construc- 
tion of the Intercolonial Railway, the establishment of the Province of 
Manitoba, the admission of British Columbia into Confederation, the 
establishment of the militia system and the initiation of the Canadian 
Pacific Railway. 

It would not be in accordance with that absolute truth which is 
demanded of history, to even infer that to Cartier alone is due the 
credit for the passage of all of these great measures. Many eminent 
men contributed by their efforts to their achievement. But to Cartier 
may fairly be adjudged the merit without detracting from the merits 
of others, of having taken an active part in the achievement of all of 
these important measures, of having devoted his great energies and 
abilities to their accomplishment, and of having played a determining 
part in the achievement of some of them. Some of these measures were 
of material benefit to the progress of the country. The legal reforms for 
which Cartier is entitled to the sole credit, constitute in themselves a 
monument to his wise statemenship. Other measures in which he 
played a determining part, such as Confederation, were of an epoch- 
making character, in connection with Canada's national development 
and well-being. As an eminent French-Canadian writer, the late 
Senator Tasse, has well remarked, more than one of these measures 
would have been sufficient to immortalize Cartier. He was. to 
Senator Tasse's words, at one and the same time a legislator, a founder 
of constitutions, a peaceful conqueror. 

Cartier and Confederation 

The greatest work in which Cartier participated, and in which it 
is freely acknowledged he played a determining part, was of course the 
establishment of Confederation. The idea of a union of all the prov- 
inces of British North America did not originate with Cartier. any 
more than it originated with Macdonald, Tupper, Tilley, Brown or the 
other great Fathers of Confederation. Proposals to that effect had 
been made long before, and the idea was one that had arisen in many 
minds as a desirable consummation and as a remedy for the chaotic con- 
ditions which then prevailed. But the idea was one that was heartily 
supported by Cartier from a very early period, and to the Cartier- 
Macdonald Government of which he became the head in 1858 as Prime 


Minister of United Canada must be given the credit of having taken 
the first practical steps to bring about Confederation. One of the items 
of that government's programme was the union of the British North 
American provinces, and soon after the close of the session of 1858, a 
delegation composed of three members of the Government, Cartier him- 
self, A. T. Gait, and John Kose went to England to press the matter 
upon the Imperial Government. A memorandum submitted to the 
Imperial authorities and signed by Cartier, Gait and Rose urged the 
Imperial Government to take steps to have a meeting of delegates from 
all the British North American provinces to consider the question of 
Confederation and to report upon it. 

Though the steps taken in 1858 had no immediate result, the 
fact remains that the Government of which Cartier was the 
head, was the first to take up the question of the union of the British 
North American provinces, that, as the lamented Thomas D'Arcy McGee 
remarked in his great speech during the Confederation debate " the first 
real stage of the success -of Confederation, the thing that gave impor- 
tance to the theory in men's minds, was the memorandum of 1858, 
signed by Cartier, Gait and Rose. The recommendation in that memo- 
randum " said McGee, " laid dormant until revived by the Constitu- 
tional Committee which led to the coalition, which led to the Quebec 
Conference, which led to the draft of the Constitution now on our 
1 able, and which " added McGee with assurance " will lead, I am fain 
tc believe, to the union of all these provinces/' — an assurance, which was 
not long afterwards happily fulfilled. 

Cartier was the leader of the Quebec wing of the Coalition Ministry. 
He was a delegate to the Charlottetown Conference, as well as a mem- 
ber of the Quebec Conference. He took a leading part in the Confedera- 
tion debate?, ably defending the measure against the attacks made upon 
it. With Macdonald, Brown and Gait he was deputed after the scheme 
had been adopted by the Legislature to go to England to confer with 
Her Majesty's Government; he was also one of the delegates who sat in 
Confeience from the 4th to the 24th December, 1866, at the West- 
minster Palace Hotel in London, and at which a series of 69 resolutions, 
based on those of the Quebec Conference, were finally passed. The 
sittings of that famous conference were renewed early in January of 
1867, a series of draft bills were drawn up, and revised by the Imperial 
law officers, a bill was submitted to the Imperial Parliament in 
February, and on March 20th, under the title of the British North 
America Act, it received the royal assent. A royal proclamation issued 
from Windsor Castle on May 22nd, 1867, appointed July 1st as the 
date upon which the Act should come into force, and the following 


first of July witnessed the birth of what the Governor- General, Lord 
Monck, well designated as " a new nationality ". 

The men who assembled at Quebec on October 10th, 1864, to 
devise means for bringing about the union of the British North 
American provinces, had momentous problems to solve, but they were 
all men of the most ardent patriotism, of the broadest views, and with a 
firm determination to carry to a successful issue the great work with 
which they had been entrusted. How they succeeded in their task we 
all know. It has been well remarked, by one of the biographers of Sir 
John A. Macdonald that there are three men besides Macdonald who 
in the establishment of Confederation and in securing the large results 
which followed from that epoch-making measure, demand special 
mention. Those men were George Etienne Cartier, Charles Tupper, and 
Leonard Tilley.* Justice demands that George Brown should also be 
named amongst the great Fathers of Confederation, for without the 
co-operation of that eminent Liberal statesman it is questionable 
whether Confederation under the circumstances could have been effected 
at that time. It was George Brown who made the proposals which 
rendered the coalition ministry possible, and by sinking all party 
considerations and personal differences in a grave crisis of his country's 
history, he performed a signal act of patriotism, which entitles his 
name to a high place on Canada's roll of honor. It was in fact a 
striking lesson in patriotism and in devotion to country, to find men 
like Macdonald and Cartier on the one hand, and Brown on the other, 
forgetting all past differences and even bitter personal animosities, and 
sitting at the same council board to devise means by which the public 
interests might be served at a most critical juncture. Nor, amongst the 
leading Fathers of Confederation must Sir A. T. Gait be forgotten, for 
that distinguished statesman was a most zealous advocate of Confedera- 
tion, holding that unless a union was effected, the provinces would 
inevitably drift into the United States. During the parliamentary 
session of 1858 he strongly advocated the federal union of all the 
British North American provinces, and as has been justly said, the 
resolutions which Gait then moved in favor of such a union, entitle 
him to a high place amongst the promoters of Confederation (*). 

Of the thirty-two statesmen who assembled at Quebec in 1864 and 
framed the Quebec resolutions which formed the basis of Confederation, 
but one survives to-day, and the Cartier Centenary movement has the 
privilege of having that great statesman whose name will forever be 
linked with the names of Macdonald and Cartier, as its patron. Still 

♦Dr. Parkin — Life of Sir John A. Macdonald. 
(*) John Lewis, Life of George Brown, 


hale and hearty in his 92nd year, Sir Charles Tapper enjoys the 
veneration and esteem of all Canadians. It has been justly said by Sir 
John A. Macdonald's biographer, that in the "reconciliation of Nova 
Scotia to Confederation; in carrying out a great expensive and hazardous 
railway policy; in the establishment of a national fiscal system; in 
making Canadian expansion compatible with complete allegiance to the 
Empire, the aid which Macdonald received from Sir Charles Tupper, 
can scarcely be exaggerated. In him great natural ability and power 
as a platform speaker were united with a splendid optimism about his 
country, a courage that feared nothing, and a resoluteness of purpose 
which despised any obstacles with which he could be confronted/'* 

It is not minimizing the services of any of the other illustrious 
Fathers of Confederation, to say that Cartier played a leading, in fact 
a determining part, in the achievement of that measure. His great 
colleagues have generously testified to the pre-eminent services which 
he rendered at that time. 

" Cartier was as bold as a lion. He was just the man I wanted : but 
" for him Confederation sould not have been carried," was the emphatic 
declaration made by Sir John A. Macdonald on the day when he 
unveiled the statue of his great colleague at Ottawa. 

Sir Charles Tupper's tribute is equally eloquent and emphatic. 
'" I have no hesitation " he says " in saying that without Cartier there 
"would have been no Confederation, and therefore Canada owes him a 
debt that can never be repaid." 

Dr Parkin in his life of Sir John A. Macdonald, in the " Makers of 
Canada " series, also pays a just tribute to Cartier for his work in con- 
nection with Confederation when he says : " Without Cartier's loyal 
" help, it would scarcely have been possible, when the effort for union 
"came, to allay the anxiety of the French- Canadians lest they should 
" be swallowed up, and their individuality be lost in the large proposed 
" confederacy." > 

Cartier^s position at that time, it must be remembered, was an 
extremely difficult one, in fact, it is the difficulties which he then 
encountered and the manner in which he triumphed over them, that 
entitled him to all the more credit. " Never did a French-Canadian 
statesman" as an eminent French- Canadian writer has remarked, 
"have to face a greater responsibility than that which Cartier assumed 
the day when he had the alternative of accepting or refusing Con- 
federation. Neither Papineau nor Lafontaine had tk> place in the 
balance such grave issues. Their role was reduced to demanding liberty 

'Dr. Parkin — Life of Sir John A. Macdonald 


for Canadians. Cartier had to choose between a problematical future 
and a recognized state of affairs, with well denned advantages. Would 
as many guarantees be found in the edifice which was to be constructed ? 
By accepting the confederation of the provinces, was it not leaving 
the certain for the uncertain? Such were the questions which agitated 
minds anxiously weighed."* 

There was strong opposition to Confederation in Quebec as well as 
in other provinces. Cartier had to face the powerful attacks of redoubt- 
able and able antagonists who maintained that Confederation would be 
detrimental to the interests of the French-Canadians. His contention 
was that with general interests entrusted to a central government and 
local interests to local legislatures, the rights of the French-Canadian- 
would be amply safeguarded. Cartier maintained his position in the 
face of the most determined opposition and even against bitter personal 
attacks. He had his vindication when in the elections of 1867 the 
people of Quebec returned him to Parliament with a triumphant 

And has not the course of events since Confederation vindicated 
the position which Cartier then took? The French-Canadians have not 
only enjoyed the fullest freedom in the direction of provincial affairs, 
but they have played a large and important part in the public life of 
Canada, a French-Canadian has occupied the exalted position of Prime 
Minister of the Dominion, and no matter whether they agree with his 
policy or not, all fair-minded Canadians must admit that Sir Wilfrid 
Laurier personally filled that great office with the utmost distinction, 
with credit to himself and to his country. Under Confederation there 
has been friction at times due in most cases to demagogic appeals to 
popular passion and racial feeling, but the sound common sense of the 
mass of the people has always asserted itself, and the governmental 
and legislative machinery has been found elastic enough to meet ever 
increasing demands. 

A notable tribute was recently paid to Cartier and the other gn at 
Fathers of Confederation by that distinguished British statesman, 
diplomat, and author, Eight Hon. James Bryce, when in addressing 
this Club a few weeks ago he said : " Xot less remarkable than your 
material progress has been the growth of your constitutional govern- 
ment, although in its early days there were not wanting people to show 
that Canada could never be a great nation. Your federal system has 
worked on the whole with wonderful success and with little friction. 
It has worked perhaps better than anywhere else in the world : I think 

D. DeCelles, Cartier Et Son Temps. 


the only example of equal success is that of Switzerland. You have 
had the great problem of two races living side by side, of peoples 
different in race and language, whom the federal system was designed 
to unite, while the federation of districts so dissimilar as the province 
of British Columbia, the prairies, and the Maritime Provinces shows 
that as far as adaptation to local conditions is concerned the federal 
system has been an unqualified success. And this success is a tribute 
to the capacity of the men who have governed as well as to those who 
framed the constitution." 

The successful working of the federal system in Canada to which 
Mr. Bryce bore testimony, is another striking proof of the wise and 
far-sighted statesmanship of Cartier and the other public men who 
framed our constitution. 

Other Great Measures 

Confederation having been accomplished, Cartier's energies were 
directed to measures for the strengthening and defence of the national 
fabric. He was largely instrumental in determining the route of the 
Intercolonial Kailway, and in having that road, which it is admitted has 
been a most important factor in consolidating the Dominion, completed. 
One of the most important measures of Cartier J s public career, was 
undoubtedly the one which, as Minister of •Militia and Defence, he pre- 
sented to Parliament on March 31st, 1868, and which provided for the 
organization of the Canadian Militia, a measure that is the basis of our 
whole militia system. 

Confederation, as you know, originally included only the four 
provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It 
was the desire of Cartier, as it was that of Macdonald, to see established 
a united Canada, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, a great 
maritime as well as land power with the furthest east united to the 
furthest west by a great transcontinental railway system. When the 
union of the four provinces had been accomplished, Cartier was stead- 
fast in his efforts to secure the accomplishment of the larger idea. He 
fully realized the possibilities of the great West and the importance of 
securing for the Dominion that vast territory, the development of 
which has been the marvel of the past quarter of a century. Largely 
through his efforts, the great western territory now forming the Prov- 
inces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, was secured from the 
Hudson's Bay Company on most advantageous terms. When we realize 
that this immensely . rich territory, the "granary of the Empire" was 


acquired for the Dominion for the insignificant sum of $1,500,000, 
largely through the negotiations which Cartier conducted in England, 
some idea of the importance of the services he rendered in that connec- 
tion, may be formed. Cartier also framed the bill creating the Prov- 
ince of Manitoba, which he presented and had passed at the session 
of 1871. Only one thing was needed to round out Confederation, and 
that was the admission of British Columbia. In the negotiations which 
resulted in the admission of that great Province into the Dominion, 
Cartier played a leading part, and it was he, who on November 28th, 
J 871, presented the bill to Parliament providing that British Columbia 
should become a portion of the Dominion. On that occasion Cartier 
hailed the realization of his dream of a united Canada extending from 
ocean to ocean, with pardonable pride. 

" I cannot close my explanations," he declared, " without impress- 
" ing on the honorable members the greatness of the work. This young 
" Confederation is on the point of extending over the whole northern 
" portion of the continent, and when we consider that it took our 
"* neighbors sixty years to extend to the Pacific, where will be found in 
"the history of the world anything comparable to our marvellous 
" prosperity ? I have always maintained that a nation to be great must 
"have maritime power. We possess maritime power in a high degree. 
" Our union with the maritime provinces gives us a seaboard on the 
" east, and now our union with British Columbia will give us a seaboard 
" on the west." 

With the admission of British Columbia to Confederation, the 
dream of Cartier and of Macdonald, of a united Canada extending from 
ocean to ocean, was realized. But one thing more was required to bind 
the scattered provinces firmly together — a great transcontinental rail- 
way. Cartier was one of the strongest advocates of such an under- 
taking, and to him belongs the glory of having had passed the first 
charter for the Canadian Pacific Eailway. One of the terms of the 
union of British Columbia with Canada under the Act presented by 
Cartier, was the construction of such a road. It is related that the 
delegates of British Columbia during the negotiations urged upon 
Cartier that a railway should be built across the Prairies to the foot of 
the Rockies, and that a colonization road should be laid out from the 
foot of the Rockies to the Coast. " No," replied Cartier, " that will not 
"do; ask for a railway the whole way and you will get it." Some 
leading public men of the time thought that Cartier was willing to 
undertake too great an obligation, but events have more than justified 
his optimism. At the session of 1872, Cartier presented resolutions 
providing for the construction of t!ie Canadian Pacific. After a remark- 


able debate, a bill based on the resolutions was adopted, and Cartier, 
springing to his feet, gave utterance amidst loud cheers to the expres- 
sion which has become historic : a All aboard for the West." 

It was the last great triumph of his public career. He did not 
live to see the realization of his dream, for it was not until thirteen 
years afterwards, that is to say, on November 7th, 1885, that the last 
spike of the main line of the Canadian Pacific Kailway was .driven by 
Sir Donald Smith, now Lord Strathcona, at Craigellachie, a small 
village of British Columbia, and on July 24th, 1886, Carrier's great 
colleague and fellow-worker for a united Canada, Sir John A. Mac- 
donald personally reached the Pacific by rail from Ottawa. 

Though Cartier did not live to see the completion of the gigantic 
undertaking which meant so much for Canada, it is one of his chief 
merits that he was one of its initiators and strongest supporters, and 
that he foresaw and foretold its great future. 

" Before very long ", he declared, addressing Parliament, " the 
" English traveller who lands at Halifax will be able in five or six days 
* to cover half of the continent inhabited by British subjects." 

How Carrier's prophecy has been fulfilled we all know. The 
traveller landing to-day at Halifax can reach Victoria by means of the 
Canadian Pacific in less than six days. The Canadian Pacific Railway 
Company has become one of the greatest corporations in the world, 
operating not only a great transcontinental railway, and a chain of 
palatial hotels, but also possessing magnificent fleets on the Atlantic 
and the Pacific, with its vessels now encircling the globe. It has pro- 
gressed stage by stage until under the able direction of its present 
distinguished head, Sir Thomas Shaughnessy, it has attained the 
greatest position in its history. The company's expansion has in fact 
been one of the marvels of history, and with the continued develop- 
ment of the Dominion, its achievements, great as they have been, will 
undoubtedly be surpassed in the future. Cartier, by his strenuous 
advocacy of the construction of the road in days when faith in the 
future was at a discount, gave another evidence of his great foresight as 
well as of his faith in the future of the Dominion which he did so much 
to establish. 

Cartier and Macdonald 

No review of Carrier's career, however summary, would be complete 
without some reference to the alliance that existed between him and 
that other great Canadian statesman, Sir John A. Macdonald, an 
alliance which was was for a long period a most important factor in the 


public life of Canada, In his great painting " The Fathers of Con- 
federation/' the artist Harris most appropriately places Macdonald and 
C artier conspicuously in the centre of the group, and the names of 
those two great statesmen must forever be linked in connection with 
that epoch making measure. 

Macdonald and Cartier began their public careers within a few 
years of each other, Macdonald being first returned to Parliament in 
1844, while Cartier became a member in 1848. The two men first 
became closely associated as members of the same Government, the 
MacNab-Tache Ministry, formed in 1855, in which mini -try Macdonald 
held the portfolio of Attorney-General for Upper Canada while Cartier 
was Provincial Secretary, the first public office he held. From that time 
until the day of Carrier's death, the association between the two men 
remained practically unbroken. Their alliance, as has been well Baid, 
was based on equal consideration for the rightful claims of botli 

Each of the two men had qualities not possessed by the other. 
Macdonald had a magnetic personality, he was a consummate tactician, 
an incomparable leader of men. He had that genius which enables 
possessor to seize and make the most of an opportunity. He had that 
quality so indispensable in a great leader of gaining the loyal and 
davoted support of men of widely different characters and temparements. 
Macdonald in short combined the grasp of a statesman with the arts of 
a politician. Cartier excelled as an administrator, he was a tireless and 
indefatigable worker who never spared himself and who expected <•-. 
to follow his example. He studied and analyzed all subjects which he 
had to handle to the very bottom, and when he came to discuss them 
he had a complete mastery of all the details. He was strong, nay, even 
dogmatic, in his convictions ; once his mind was made up he pursued the 
path he had marked out for himself with persistent determination, 
heedless of all obstacles in his way. To his followers his word was law, 
and he exacted from them an unswerving obedience. His energy was 
prodigious: he deserved the designation given to him by Gladstone when 
that great statesman said that Cartier was *' un homme qui semble 
,( etre legion", — a man who was a legion in himself. Carder's was 
essentially a strong and determined character. 

It was of course impossible that men of such different tempera- 
ments as Macdonald and Cartier and representing often such divergent 
interests, should not have their differences sometimes, but whatever 
differences they may have had never interfered with the high personal 
esteem and regard they entertained for each other. 


At a great banquet given in his honor by the Bar of Toronto on 
February 8th, 1866, Macdonald took occasion to pay a warm and 
generous tribute to his French-Canadian colleague who was one of the 
guests of honor. 

'' I wish to say/' declared Macdonald, " that Hon. Mr. Cartier has 
"' a right to share in the honors which I am receiving to-night, because 
" I have never made an appeal to him or to the Lower Canadians in 
'* vain. There is not in the whole of Canada a heart more devoted to 
'' his friends. If I have succeeded in introducing the institutions of 
•• Great Britain, it is due in great part, to my friend, who has never 
•' permitted under his administration that the bonds which attach us 
44 to England should be weakened/' 

Cartier was equally generous in appreciation of his great colleague. 
Speaking at a banquet tendered Macdonald by the citizens of Kingston 
on September 6th, 1866, Cartier said : 

" Kingston is indeed a favored city, for it has for its representative 
" e a statesman who has never yet been surpassed in Canada, and who 
" probably never will be in the future. 1 have had the happiness of 
"* being associated with the member for Kingston in my public career, 
u and of having formed with him an alliance which has already lasted 
u longer than all alliances of this kind in Canada. The success which 
''we have obtained together has been due to the fact that we have 
<l repelled all sectional feelings arid sought what might benefit Canada 
" as a whole." 

That was the keynote of the Cartier-Macdonald alliance, the subor- 
dination of all sectional and racial feeling to the welfare of Canada as 
a whole. Cartier throughout his long public career was essentially a 
peacemaker, who always strove to promote a better feeling between the 
two races. A striking testimony to the success of his efforts in that 
direction was given, on one occasion in Parliament when Mr. Benjamin, 
a leading Ontario member, declared : " I cannot refrain from acknow- 
ledging that Mr. Cartier has done more to unite the two races and to 
" re-establish harmony between them, than any other member of the 
« House." 

Well shall it always be for the Dominion, if its public men, no 
matter to what political party they may belong, always adhere to the 
sane and true principles upon which the Macdonald-Cartier alliance 
was based — mutual toleration and good-will, respect for the rights of all, 
the co-operation of races, the safeguarding of Canada's autonomy, and 
the development of Canadian nationality. The Macdonald-Cartier 
alliance in fact symbolized that union which should always exist 
between English-speaking and French-speaking Canadians. And why 


should there not be union? What matters it whether we speak different 
languages or worship at different altars, if we always remember that we 
are all Canadians, mutually interested in the welfare and aggrandize- 
ment of our common country That was the spirit which actuated both 
Cartier and Macdonald during their long association, and it will be 
well if such a spirit always prevails in the Dominion. It is only, in 
fact, upon such a basis that the permanence of Confederation, of which 
Macdonald and Cartier were the principal architects, can be assured. 

For Canadian Nationality 

■ The aim of Macdonald, Cartier, and the other great Fathers of 
Confederation, was to establish broad and deep the foundations of a Cana- 
dian nationality, based on the broadest principles of justice, tolerance, 
and equal rights. All their public utterances during the Confederation 
negotiations, testify to this fact. Macdonald's conception was that as 
the Dominion progressed it would become, to use his own words, year 
by year less a case of dependence on our part, and of overwhelming 
protection on the part of the Mother County, and more a case of healthy 
and cordial alliance, that instead of looking upon us as a merely depen- 
dent colony, England would have in us a friendly nation — a subordinate 
but still a powerful people — to stand by her in Xorth America in peace 
or war. 

It is given to some men to have a vision that foresees the future 
and enables them to provide for momentous developments. Both 
, Cartier and Macdonald were such men. It is in fact the supreme merit 
o? Cartier that whilst always standing firmly for the rights of his 
French-Canadian compatriots, bis vision was not confined to the Prov- 
ince of Quebec. If any one does, Cartier deserves the distinction of 
being known as a great Canadian. There was nothing narrow or 
provincial in his views. His idea was a united Canada, stretching 
from ocean to ocean, in which men of all races, languages and creeds 
should work together as brethren for the welfare and advancement of 
their common country. Cartier's desire was that his French-Canadian 
compatriots should not confine their attention to the Province of 
Quebec, but should take their full share in the life of the Dominion, 
that they should above all rejoice in the name " Canadian," be proud of 
the great Dominion and work for its welfare in co-operation with their 
English-speaking fellow countrymen. 

" Objection is made to our project," says Cartier, in his great 
speech during the Confederation debates, " because of the words ' a 
" new nationality/ But if we unite we will form a political nationality 

" independent of the national origin and religion of individuals. Some 
1 '' have regretted that we have a distinction of races and have expressed 
•''the hope that n time this diversity will disappear. The idea of a 
''fusion of all races is utopian ,it is an impossibility. Distinctions of 
" this character will always exist, diversity is the order of the physical, 
"moral and political worlds. As to the objection that we cannot form 
" a great nation because Lower Canada is principally French and Catho- 
" lie, Upper Canada English and Protestant, and the Maritime Prov- 
" inces mixed, it is futile in the extreme. 

" Take for example the United Kingdom, inhabited as it is by 
" three great races. Has the diversity of races been an obstacle to the 
" progress and the welfare of Great Britain? Have not the three races 
'"'united by their combined qualities, their energy and their courage, 
''contributed to the glory of the Empire, to its laws of wise, to. its 
"' success on land, on sea, and in commerce 

" In our Confederation there will be Catholics and Protestants, 
" English, French, Irish and Scotch, and each by its efforts and success 
"will add to the prosperity of the Dominion, to the glory of a new 
" Confederation. We are of different races, not to quarrel, but to work 
e< together for our common welfare. We cannot by law make the diff er- 
*' 4 ences of race disappear, but I am convinced that the Anglo-Canadian 
" and the French- Canadian will appreciate the advantages of their posi- 
" tion. Set side by side like a great family, their contact will produce 
" a happy spirit of emulation. The diversity of race will in fact, 
'•' believe me, contribute to the common prosperity." 

What words of wisdom! What a spirit of true patriotism, of 
justice and of toleration they breathe ! If Cartier in fact had never made 
any other utterance than this, it would be sufficient to stamp him as a 
true patriot and wise statesman. It will be well for Canada if such 
are always the guiding principles of its national life. 

While the idea of Macdonald and Cartier and the other great 
Fathers of Confederation was, as has been said, to establish a Canadian 
nationality, none the less was it their intention to peerpetuate British 
institutions on the North American continent, to establish, to use 
Maodonald's expression, a friendly nation, enjoying, it is true, the most 
complete autonomy, but at the same time in alliance with Great Britain 
and the other portions of the Empire. No stronger believer in British 
institutions as the repository of freedom; no more ardent admirer of 
the British flag as the symbol of justice and liberty could be found than 
Cartier. In all his utterances during the Confederation, debates, he 
took special pains to emphasize that Confederation was intended not to 
weaken, but to strengthen, the ties between the Dominion, Great Britain 


and the other portions of the Empire. " Confederation," he said, in 
one of his speeches on the measure, " has for its first reason our common 
" affection for British institutions, its object is to assure by all possible 
" guarantees, their maintenance in the future." 

For the British flag Cartier on all occasions expressed a passionate 

" The Canadian people," he said at a great banquet given in hi- 
honor in London in 1869, " desires to remain faithful to the old flag 
" of Great Britain, that flag which waves over all seas, which tyranny 
" has never been able to overcome, that flag which symbolizes true 

These words expressed Cartier's deep and earnest conviction. 
During his several visits to Great Britain, he was deeply impressed by 
the greatness of British institutions. On those occasions he was the 
recipient of signal marks of honor; he was the personal guest of Queen 
Victoria at Windsor Castle for some time, and he received marked 
attention from Gladstone, Lord Lytton, and other distinguished British 
statesmen. His services in connection with the establishment of ( 
federation, as you know, were recognized by the conferring of a 
baronetcy upon him by Queen Victoria. 


Having reviewed the great work which Cartier did for Canada in 
general, permit me to emphasize the eminent services which lie rendered 
to Montreal. It is doubtful whether many Montrealers of the present 
generation fully realize the importance of Cartier's services to this city, 
and for that reason this portion of his career should be of special in- 
terest to citizens of this great metropolis. 

From 1861 until 1872, Cartier was one of the representatives of 
Montreal, first in the Parliament of United Canada, and afterwards in 
die House of Commons. During a portion of that period, he also 
represented Montreal-East in the Quebec Legislature under the system 
of dual representation which prevailed for some time following the 
establishment of Confederation. Montreal's interests were always dear 
to Cartier's heart, and throughout his long public career he zealously 
strove to promote the welfare and development of this city. 

Eeference has already been made to the interest which Cartier 
showed from the outset of his career in railway construction. He 
realized that in order that Montreal might attain an unrivalled position, 
it would be necessary that railway communications should be established. 

that the St. Lawrence channel should be deepened, and that canals 
should be constructed and improved. One of the earliest of his 
speeches of which we have record was delivered at a great mass-meeting 
of the citizens of Montreal, held in 1846, on the Champ de Mars, to 
promote the construction of the Montreal & Portland Railway to connect 
Montreal and Portland. C artier on that occasion declared that such 
an undertaking was a truly national work. Alluding to the fact that 
property in such cities as Buffalo, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and 
Baltimore, which had become great railway terminals, had as a result 
greatly increased in value, he declared that the same thing would 
happen in the case of Montreal if adequate railway facilities were 

" The prosperity of Montreal," he said, " depends upon its position 
as the great emporium for the commerce of the West, and we can only 
,( assure that prosperity by better means of transport from the waters 
" of the West to the Atlantic by our canals and railways." 

When he became a member of Parliament Cartier continued his 
agitation for adequate railway facilities, and one of the first speeches 
he delivered in the legislature of United Canada, February 15th, 1849, 
was in advocacy of the completion of the Montreal & Portland Railway. 

" There is no time to lose in the completion of the road," said 
Cartier on that occasion, " if we wish to assure for ourselves the com- 
" merce of the West. All the cities of the Atlantic Coast are disputing 
" for that commerce." 

Referring to the efforts being made by New York, Philadelphia, 
Baltimore, and other American cities to capture this commerce, Cartier 
said : " In seeing the efforts that an intelligent population is making, 
" we cannot doubt the importance of the trade of the lakes which they 
"covet and the profits which will result. Now, we may secure the 
" greater part of that trade by constructing this road as soon as pos- 
" sible." 

At another great mass meeting of the citizens of Montreal, held 
at the Bonsecours Market on July 31st, 1849, at which resolutions were 
adopted favoring the completion of the Montreal & Portland Railway, 
on motion of Cartier, seconded by John Rose, it was resolved that the 
city should take shares in the company. Cartier on that occasion made 
a fervent appeal that the interests of Montreal should be considered. 

" I do not fear to say," he declared, " that Montreal will be recreant 
" to its best interests, and will be the most backward of cities if it 
<e neglects the means that is offered it to reclaim a prosperity which is 
,y ' now leaving it. I appeal to the large proprietors, to the small pro- 
" prietors who make the prosperity of the large ones, and to the 


" industrial and working classes which make jthe prosperity of both. 
" We have an exceptional chance to attract foreign capital. The city 
"has only to guarantee a bagatelle compared to the enormous debts 
" contracted by the smaller cities of the United States to attract capital 
" which passes through the hands of tradesmen and workingmen, to 
" relieve trade which is languishing. It is an advantage which will be 
" enjoyed even before the work is completed/' 

Cartier pointed out that New York had contracted a debt of 
$25,000,000 to provide proper railway facilities, as it had sufficient 
faith in itself and in the spirit of enterprise of its citizens to discount 
the future. 

"The time has come," said Carrier, addressing the citizens of 
Montreal, "to belie your reputation as apathetic men without energy 
" and without a spirit of enterprise. Let those terms cease to be 
" applied to the name * Canadian '. This great meeting is one of the 
" first to be held in a city of the British Provinces to encourage an 
"enterprise of this importance. It is proper that the example should 
" come from Montreal, the commercial head of British America. It 
" should show itself worthy of its position. Let us arouse ourselves, let 
"'* us agitate." 

Cartier had the vision to foresee the great future in store for 
Montreal, if adequate transportation facilities were provided. 

" Montreal," he prophetically declared on the same occasion, " is 
" destined to become the great emporium for the West. Without rail- 
"ways and canals it will be impossible for it to attain the glorious 
" position which will make it one of the principal cities of the con- 

Largely as the result of Cartier's persistent efforts, the Montreal 
& Portland Railway which for a long time was the only outlet during 
the winter for Canadian produce, destined for Europe, was completed, 
and inaugurated in 1-851, being subsequently absorbed by the Grand 
Trunk Railway Company. Before the completion of this road, it must 
be remembered that there were only some seventy miles of railway in 
all Canada, the first road, the Laprairie and St. John's having been 
opened only a few years before, that is to say on July 21st, 1836. When 
we consider that to-day the total mileage of railways in Canada is 35.000 
miles, that last year our combined railways built 1,970 miles of new 
railway, on which was spent $30,000,000, and that the programme for 
this year provides for 2,700 miles of new track, costing $41,000,000, 
some idea may be obtained of the advance that has been made. Cartier 
deserves the credit of having been one of the first to realize the im- 


portance of railway construction in connection with the development of 
the country and of having been one of the strongest supporters of a 
forward policy in this respect — a policy to which we owe the three 
splendid railway systems we have to-day — the Canadian Pacific, the 
Grand Trunk, and the work of those two great railway men, Sir William 
Mackenzie and Sir Donald Mann — the Canadian Northern. 

One of Cartier's chief claims to honor is that it was he who secured 
the incorporation of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, which has 
done so much for the development of Canada in general, and the City 
of Montreal in particular. Cartier always took the greatest pride in 
that fact. In a speech delivered in the legislature he declared that he 
regarded the construction of the Grand Trunk as the greatest benefit 
that had ever been conferred on the country. " I had charge of the Act 
" which created the Grand Trunk Railway," he added, " and I am 
" prouder of that than of any other action of my life." The Grand 
Trunk at the outset of its history had many difficulties, financial and 
otherwise, to encounter, and it was due to Cartier' s efforts in a large 
measure, that the company was able to tide over these difficulties and 
that its success was assured. 

Reviewing his public career at a great banquet given in his honor 
by the citizens of Montreal, on October 30th, 1866, on the eve of his 
departure for London as one of the Confederation delegates, Cartier 
referring to the efforts he had made on behalf of the Grand Trunk 
said : " In 1852-53, encouraged by the Hincks-Morin Ministry, I asked 
"for the incorporation of the Grand Trunk Railway Company, and I 
" had it voted despite the most furious opposition. I also had the con- 
" struction of the Victoria Bridge voted. You will recall the prejudices 
" there were against that measure. It was a work which would produce 
" floods in Montreal, it was a means to divert commerce towards Port- 
land. But the prejudice, against these great measures were soon 
" dissipated, it was only a passing tempest. It was so, too, for the 
" Grand Trunk and the Victoria Bridge. The Grand Trunk and the 
" Victoria Bridge have flooded Montreal with an abundance of pros- 
" perity. What would Montreal, be without the Grand Trunk ? It has 
** assured for us the commerce of the West." 

Addressing the electors of Montreal-East when seeking re-election 
in 1867, Cartier, referring to the construction of the Victoria Bridge, 
eaid: "You know that there existed considerable jealousy or rivalry 
"between Quebec and Montreal, and that the two cities sought at the 
" same time to secure the possession of a bridge across the river. I will 
"not stop to discuss the advantages of such a bridge. Thanks to my 
" efforts I am proud to be able to say Montreal finally secured it. 


" Montreal has the Victoria Bridge. The results you know. Our city 
" since then has had a considerable development which Confederation, I 
" am certain, will increase." 

When we consider the important factor that the Grand Trunk 
Railway Company has been in the development of Eastern Canada, and 
what its associate company, the Grand Trunk Pacific, will be in the 
opening up and development of rich new districts in the \X<->t, it will 
be realized that Cartier in the part he played in the creation and as 
tanee of this great railway system, rendered another most important 
service to Canada. , 

St. Lawrence navigation and the advancement of the Port 
real found in Cartier a steadfast advocate, and the Allan Line which 
was the pioneer in ocean navigation vit the St. Lawrence, secured from 
him the heartiest encouragement and support. Speaking in the 
Lsgislative Assembly in 1860, in favor of a proposal to increase the mail 
subsidy to the Allans, Cartier warmly supported means to incr 
navigation by the St. Lawrence. It was humiliating, he declared, to 
see nearly all oar imports arriving by the steamships, the railways, and 
the canals of the L^nited States. "Let us rise,' 5 he said, "to the h< 
"of the changes wrought by progress, for we are at the beginning of a 
'" new era which will eclipse anything we have yet seen/*' The improve- 
ment of the harbor and port of Montreal always found in Cartier a 
zealous advocate, as he fully realized how important it was for Mont- 
real's progress and prosperity. 

Cartier persistently advocated the enlargement of the cana J, fi 
to divert the commerce of the West from American ports to this port, 
and thus benefit the City of Montreal. In a speech on the deepening 
of Lake St. Peter, delivered in the Parliament of United Canada on 
May 11th, 1860, he said: "Up to the present all our debt has been con- 
" tracted for the execution of very important public works — the Welland 
Canal, the St. Lawrence Canal, the Rideau Canal, the Lachine Canal. 
u etc. But we have not yet attained our object, which is to divert the 
" commerce of the great lakes from the American routes to tht E 
Cl Lawrence. This commerce continues to pass by New York and Penn- 
" sylvania, and all that we see is the traffic destined for Ogdensburg and 
" Oswego. What means should be taken to remedy this condition of 
'•'affairs? We have come to the conclusion to abolish all tolls on the 
" canals, and to make the St. Lawrence route perfectly free from the 
" ocean to the great lakes/' 

In reply to a remark by George Brown that the measure seemed to 
be designed to attract the commerce of the West to Montreal, to the 
detriment of Upper Canada, Cartier said : " I do not see why it should 


"be apprehended that Montreal will secure so many advantages from 
'* this amelioration. This city is at the head of navigation, and is the 
'principal centre of commerce; it is inspired by the sprit of progress, 
" and I believe that in place of jealousy, all should be proud of its 
'• success. Whatever they can do, they can never prevent its being the 
'* most important city of the country, and from becoming a rival of the 
'•'great American cities." 

Eeference has been made to the prominent part that Cartier took 
in advocating the construction of the Canadian Pacific Eailway; and 
in desiring to see the accomplishment of that great undertaking, he had 
an eye to the interests of Montreal. In a speech to the electors of 
Montreal-East on August 8th, 1872, he promised that Montreal would 
be the principal terminus of that great road. " I have," he said, to the 
citizens of Montreal on that occasion, " devoted all my efforts to further 
"your interests and I have always desired that Montreal should have 
'"the lion's share/' 

The mercantile and business interests always found in Cartier a 
friend, in fact had he not been a public man, it is likely that his 
inclinations would have made him a great business man. 

" Merchants," he said, speaking at a dinner tendered him by the 
merchants of Quebec, on December 23rd. 1869, " contribute greatly to 
" the progress of the country. Without the English merchants, England 
" could not have kept its possessions in the world. Like Eome she would 
" have lost her Colonies soon after their conquest. But the English 
" merchant was the means of forming bonds between the new possessions 
'* of the Empire. I respect the interests of those here present. Those 
" interests have greatly contributed to render Canada prosperous. Those 
" who devote themselves to commerce form in every country one of the 
"most important classes of society." 

Cartier's efforts on behalf of the mercantile interests of Montreal, 
and his faith in the future of this city never wavered, and he predicted 
its great expansion in wealth and population. 

" Our city," he said, addressing the electors of Montreal-East in 
1867, " now counts 150,000 souls. In twenty years under Confederation, 
" I predict that it will have more than 250.000 inhabitants." 

How Carrier's faith in Montreal has been justified, we all know. 
What was at the time he spoke a town of 150,000 people, has become 
a great metropolis of over 600,000 souls, and it is destined to have 
before many years a population of over one million people. 


As Montrealers we are all, as we have a right to be, proud of the 
great position which the city has attained, and of the still greater 
future which awaits it. Let us, in its day of greatness not forgot those, 
like Cartier, who in the days of small things foresaw the great future 
before Montreal and gave their best efforts to promote its interests. 

To the very end of his public career, Cartier's interest in the wel- 
fare of Montreal and his efforts to promote its advancement continued. 
His own words conveyed but the simple truth when he said in one of 
his last addresses, to his fellow citizens : " I frankly avow that all that 
ft my heart inspires, all that my knowledge and experience furnish, have 
i: been devoted to the welfare and prosperity of my compatriots in 
" general and of Montreal in particular." 

Like many other statesmen, Cartier experienced the vicissitudes, 
as well as the triumphs, of public life. His last appeal to the electors 
of Montreal, made when he was practically a dying man, resulted, owing 
to a combination of circumstances, in his crushing defeat. He was 
greeted not with bouquets but with stones, from people of a city for 
which he had worked so hard, and for the advancement of which he had 
done so much. Another seat was found for him in Provencher, Man- 
itoba, but his public career was over. In an effort to secure the 
restoration of his health he went to England, but the hope was vain: 
the incessant labors of a long public career had broken down a 
naturally robust constitution, and the great statesman passed away in 
London, England, on May 23rd, 1873. His last thoughts were for his 
beloved country. 

" Say to his friends in Canada," wrote one of his daughters in a 
touching letter announcing his death to a friend in Montreal, " say to 
"his friends in Canada that he loved his country to the last, that his 
" only desire was to return. Two days before his death he had all the 
<: Canadian newspapers read to him. Even his enemies, I hope, will 
*' not refuse to admit that before all he loved his country." 

The national mourning that followed the announcement of his 
death, the enconiums pronounced by the newspapers of all shades of 
opinion, the eulogies delivered in Parliament, the scene of his labors 
for so many years, and the imposing public funeral that was given his 
remains in Montreal, all bore eloquent testimony to the fact that the 
Canadian people, regardless of party, recognized that in his death 
Canada had indeed lost one who before all had loved his country. His 
remains rest beneath the soil of Moun Eoyal, which overlooks the city 
that he loved so well, and for the interests of which he worked so hard. 


Lessons of Carder's Life 

What were the lessons of Cartier's life? They may be summed up 
in the three words — patriotism, duty, and tolerance. He loved his 
country and sought to promote its interests, he wore himself out in the 
discharge of his public duties, he was a man of the broadest views and 
the utmost tolerance. As Sir Adolphe Eouthier has well remarked, to 
most public men public life is a career, but for Cartier it was an apos- 
tolate, a patriotic mission, and to fulfill that mission he sacrificed 
everything, even the modest fortune of which his family had need. (*) 

A French-Canadian and proud of his origin, a Eoman Catholic 
and true to his faith, strong in his convictions, Cartier at the same time 
was a man of generous sympathies, of broad views, and great tolerance. 
His charity was broad enough to include men of all races, languages, 
and creeds. " My policy, and I think it best," he said on one occasion, 
,f is respect for the rights of all." Actuated by that spirit he stood 
firmly on all occasions where there was justification for the rights of 
minorities, whether French or English, Catholic or Protestant. At the 
time of Confederation, for instance, some fear was expressed that the 
interests of the Protestant minority of Quebec would be jeopardized 
•under the new constitution. Cartier pledged his word that nothing of 
the kind would happen. u I have already had occasion to proclaim in 
" Parliament," he said ,addressing the citizens of Montreal, " that the 
" Protestant minority of Lower Canada have nothing to fear from the 
" Provincial Legislature under Confederation. My word is given, and 
" I repeat that nothing will be done of a nature to injure the principles 
" and the rights of that minority." 

Cartier's pledge, it is needless to say, has been sacredly kept. 

On the same occasion, Cartier showed his largeness of views by 
declaring: "You know that I am a Catholic. I love my religion, 
" believing it the best, but whilst proudly declaring myself a Catholic, 
" I believe it my duty as a public man to respect the sincerity and the 
"' religious convictions of others. I am also a French-Canadian. I love 
" my race. I of course have for it a predilection which is assuredly only 
"natural, but as a public man and as a citizen, I also love others." 
Such were Cartier's guiding principles throughout life. 

Cartier, like all other human beings, had his faults, as well as his 
virtues, his public career was not without its mistakes, but nobody ever 
questioned his ardent love for his country, his absolute insecirty, 
bis high sense of honor, his personal honesty and integrity, his 

(*) Sir Adolphe Routhier — Conference sur Sir George Etienne Cartier, 
issued by the Cartier Centenary Committee in pamphlet form. 


fearless energy, and the firmness with which he always stood for 
his convictions. Hit motto " Franc Et Sans Dol " — " Frank And 
"Without Deceit/' well describes the character of the man. 

Did time permit, Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, a great deal 
more might be said of Cartier and his works. But has not sufficient 
been said to justify the contention that Cartier was a great Canadian, 
a nation-builder in the truest sense of that term, one whose memory 
is entitled to lasting honor from all Canadians ? Does not the summary 
record of his career, which has been given, amply justify the declaration 
of the great Lord Dufferin that Cartier's name must forever be indis- 
solubly incorporated with the most eventful and most glorious epoch 
of his country's history, commencing as it did with "his entrance into 
political life and culminating in that consolidation of the Provinces to 
which his genius, courage and ability so materially contributed. 

Macdonald, Cartier, Tupper, Tilley, Brown, Gait, and the other 
great Fathers of Confederation builded better even than they knew. Ajb 
the result of their wise statesmanship and patriotic efforts, Canada 
to-day stands a young giant amongst the peoples of the world. Under 
Confederation there has been witnessed a marvellous expansion and an 
unprecedented prosperity. We have to-day, to use the words of one of 
the most patriotic of our national poets, John Daniel Logan. — we have 
to-day a land: — 

Blessed with youth and strength, with health and peace. 

And great as is the position of the Dominion at present, it is 
insignificant to what it will be if Canadians are only true to the teach- 
ings of the Fathers, if they all work together for the common welfare, 
if they are true to the national interests of the Dominion, and guard 
their great heritage against all influences of an insidious chaacter. 

Honor Carrier's Memory 

Canadians do well to honor the memories of those great men who 
laid broad and deep the foundations of Canadian nationality, and who 
accomplished great works for the welfare of the Dominion. In the 
leading cities of Canada, stately monuments attest the recognition of a 
grateful people of the services of that great Father of Confederation, 
and that illustrious Canadian statesman, Sir John A. Macdonald. Brown 
and Tilley, too, have their monuments. Sir Charles Tupper is still 
happily with us in person, and I am sure that we all trust that his life 
may long be spared. His name will always be remembered as that of 
one of the leading Fathers of Confederation and one of our greatest 


Does not justice demand that fitting honor should be done to that 
other great Father of Confederation, Sir George Etienne Cartier, by the 
erection of a memorial in the city which he represented in Parliament 
for so many years, and for whose interests he strove so zealously? 

When in November, 1910, at a meeting held, at the St. Jean 
Baptiste Market Hall in this city, it was proposed by Mr. E. W. 
Yilleneuve, now president of the Cartier Centenary Committee, whom 
we have with us to-day, that the centenary of Cartier's birth should be 
appropriately commemorated and that steps should be taken for the 
erection of a monument to his memory, the proposal was enthusiasti- 
cally taken up. Since then the movement has assumed not only a 
national but en Empire scope, and representatives of every portion of 
the Empire will be present at the commemorative celebration next year. 
The movement, it may be mentioned is absolutely non-partisan in 
character, it being recognized that Cartier's memory is a national pos- 
session. The Prime Minister of the Dominion, Eight Hon. R. L. 
Borden ; the leader of the Liberal Party, Sir Wilfrid Laurier ; the Prime 
Minister of the Province of Quebec, Sir Lomer Gouin ; the Prime Min- 
isters of all the Provinces; leading Liberals as well as Conservatives, 
throughout the Dominion, have united to render homage to the memory 
of one who did so much for Canada. Thanks to the co-operation and 
support of the Dominion Government and the Governments of all the 
Provinces, the erection of a splendid memorial, which will stand on one 
of the slopes of Mount Royal, and the first stone of which will be laid 
by His Royal Highness the Duke of Connaught, on September 1st next, 
is now practically assured. The memorial, the work of the eminent 
Canadian sculptor, Mr. G. W. Hill, will not only serve to honor and 
perpetuate Cartier's memory, but will also commemorate the establish- 
ment of Confederation, in which he played such a conspicuous part. In 
addition to the imposing statue of Cartier the memorial will bear 
statues representing every one of the nine provinces of the Dominion, 
the whole symbolical of that United Canada, which was one of Cartier's 
cherished dreams. 

In connection with the unveiling of the memorial, it is proposed to 
hold a series of commemorative celebrations, and it is confidently ex- 
pected that the citizens of Montreal, ever alive as they are to the 
interests and reputation of the commercial metropolis, will give their 
hearty support and co-operation in making the celebration worthy not 
only of the memory of the great statesman, but also of the leading city 
of the Dominion, with which he was so closely identified. 

And when, Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, on the 6th of September 
of next year, the one hundredth anniversary of Cartier's birth, amidst 


the plaudits of hundreds of thousands of Canadians of all origins, creeds, 
and political leanings, the veil shall be removed from the magnificent 
memorial which shall stand on one of the commanding slopes of Mount 
Koyal, testifying to the grateful recognition of the whole Dominion, 
justice shall have been done to the memory of one who loved his country, 
who accomplished great works for its benefit, whose heart was ever 
stirred by that feeling of ardent devotion to his native land which he 
himself expressed in those burning words of patriotism : 
" Canada, Mon Pays, Mes Amours!" * 

*See following pages. 



From the French "O CANADA, MON PAYS, MES AMOURS," 

of Sir George Etienne Cartier. 

By John Boyd 
For the Cartier Centenary. 

"One's own land is best of all," 

So an ancient adage says; 
To sing it is the poet's call, 

Mine be to sing my fair land's praise. 
Strangers behold with envious eyes 

St. Lawrence's tide so swift and grand, 
But the Canadian proudly cries, 

O Canada, my own beloved land ! 

Rivers and streams in myriad maze 

Meander through our fertile plains, 
Midst many a lofty mountain's haze, 

What vast expanse the vision chains! 
Vales, hills and rapids, forest brakes — 

What panorama near so grand ! 
Who doth not love thy limpid lakes, 

O Canada, my own beloved land ! 

Each season of the passing year, 

In turn, attractions hath to bless. 
Spring like an ardent wooer, dear, 

Besports fair flowers and verdant dress; 
Summer anon prepares to wrest 

The harvest rare with joyful hand; 
In Fall and Winter, feast and jest. 

O Canada, my own beloved land! 


Canadians, like their sires of old 

Revel in song and gaily live, 
Mild, gentle, free, not overbold, 

Polite and gallant, welcome give. 
Patriots, to country ever leal, 

They, foes of slavery, staunchly stand ; 
Their watchword is the peace and weal 

Of Canada, their beloved land. 

Each country vaunts its damsels fair, 

(I quite agree with truth they boast) 
But our Canadian girls must share 

The witching charm of beauty's host, 
So lovely they and so sincere, 

With that French charm of magic wand 
Coquettish just to make them dear. 

O Canada, my own beloved land! 

O my country, thou art blest, 

Favoured of all the nations now ! 
But the stranger's vile behest 

Would the seeds of discord sow. 
May thy brave sons for thy sake 

Join to help thee, hand in hand, 
For thy great day doth e'en now break, 

O Canada, my own beloved land! 

* The above which is a faithful translation of the famous 
French -Canadian national song, " O Canada Mon Pays, Mes 
Amours," is intended simply to give the sense of the original. 
The song was composed in 1835 by George Etienne Cartier, then a 
young man of 21 who was destined to become one of the most 
illustrious figures in Canadian history. Cartier was for some 
time secretary of the St. Jean Baptiste Association which was 
founded by Ludger Duvernay in 1834, and it was at the first 


celebration of St. Jean Baptiste day held in Montreal in 1835, 
that the song was sung for the first time by Cartier himself. 

As the result of the indefatigable efforts of the president of 
the Cartier Centenary Committee, Mr. E. W. Villeneuve and 
those associated with him in this patriotic undertaking, the Cent- 
enary of Sir George Etienne Cartier's birth will be commemorated 
in 1914 by the unveiling of a magnificent monument on Mount 
Royal, and a series of historic celebrations. A brillant success 
is assured for the Centenary celebration, and the splendid 
memorial which will stand on one of the slopes of Mount Royal 
will forever commemorate the illustrious career of Cartier and the 
great work of Canadian Confederation with which he was 
prominently identified.